NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has come out publicly against a grassroots policy resolution by his own party members which calls on an NDP government to abolish Canada’s armed forces. 

During a press conference on Wednesday, Singh told reporters that he doesn’t agree with that particular plank and that he stands by the military for its COVID-19 support, going even further to suggest that the military should be involved in Canada’s lagging vaccine rollout. 

The party’s Spadina-Fort York Electoral District Association (EDA) submitted the policy resolution titled “Elimination of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

The resolution writes: “in a world with a globalized economy traditional militaries are becoming increasingly unnecessary” and claims that other countries like Iceland have already abolished their armed forces. 

“An NDP government will commit to phasing out the Canadian Armed Forces,” the policy states.

 “All members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be retrained, at the expense of the federal government, into civil service roles that help expand Canadian, provincial and municipal social services, such as expanded health care, education, community services, public transit and parks.”

With regard to other extreme policy suggestions such as removing all statues of Canada’s first prime minister and father of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald, Singh took a more cautious approach. 

“We’ve got to be very aware of the message certain monuments and statues send in public spaces, and be open to moving with the times,” Singh said.

“There always will be a place for remembering our history, and sometimes that place maybe is best served in a museum or in history books, and not always in public places.”

NDP party members will be attending the party’s policy convention from April 9 to April 11. 

Convention rules indicate that any NDP member can submit a policy resolution to their local EDA for consideration. Upon approval, EDA presidents forward the policy resolution to the convention floor where they are debated and voted on by party members. 

Other resolutions include abolishing Canada’s monarchy and pulling the country out of NATO. 

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